Michael Jordan acquired a “stronger passion” and perspective for basketball after a season of minor league baseball

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Unless they always like the first one Space jam, sports fans rightly want to forget every beat of Michael jordanbaseball career.

Jordan left the Chicago Bulls behind and spent the summer of 1994 playing on the field for the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. But for all of his strikeouts and long bus rides, the NBA legend also got a valuable lesson along the way.

Michael Jordan said he gained a passion and perspective for basketball after playing baseball

NBA legend Michael Jordan said his time playing minor league baseball gave him a better outlook on basketball | Ralf-Finn Hestoft / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images; Brian Bahr / AFP via Getty Images

By the time Jordan left basketball after the 1992-93 season, he had established himself as someone who typically made over $ 2 million a year in base salary.

Remember, NBA players who made around $ 3 million in the early 1990s were some of the highest paid players in the sport during this time. Things weren’t as they are today, where perennial MVP contenders earn over $ 30 million a year.

This is all relevant because Jordan, a highly paid NBA superstar, played minor league baseball with teammates who often relied on a team allowance. During an interview in 2020 with Cigar lover, the six-time NBA champion spoke about how those experiences and bus rides gave him a greater perspective and passion for basketball.

“I could understand the love these minor league baseball players have when they make $ 1,500 a month, which is nothing, but for them it was huge. For me, seeing it helped me put things in perspective to understand the platform I was on in ’93, [so] when i returned in ’95 and ’96 i enjoyed it even more. So when we won those championships… those things mattered to me a lot more than what I did in ’91, ’92, ’93. “

Michael jordan

Although Jordan only hit 0.22 in minors, it’s clear the real payoff came from what he learned along the way.

Would Jordan have continued to play baseball without the MLB lockout in 1994?

For years, there has been an intriguing storyline surrounding the end of Jordan’s baseball career. The idea was that Jordan, who fiercely represented NBA players against owners later in the 1990s, gave up baseball in large part because he refused to cross the picket line until the 1995 season. MLB.

However, his comments to Cigar lover can give a glimpse of what he was really thinking at the time. If Jordan truly had a new passion and perspective for basketball, then he wanted to enjoy it while he still could. Even if baseball didn’t have any lockdown or manpower issues at the time, one has to think that it would still have ended up on the Bulls roster later that spring.

It was never about money for Jordan, who had sponsorship deals with everything from Nike to Gatorade. He already had three NBA titles under his belt and would almost certainly have entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame based on everything he did in his first nine seasons with the Bulls.

So, was it the lockout that served as the final trigger to push Jordan back, or was it that passion and prospect? Was it both or neither? Only Jordan could have the final answer… although we are tempted to believe now that it was both.

Just as Jordan returned to basketball after a stint in the minor league, so does former Denver Broncos quarterback and New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow.

Tebow signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this year and will play tight end this summer. The 2010 first-round selection resisted changes in position for years and insisted he could still play well as a quarterback.

It will be interesting to see if, in the end, Tebow makes similar comments about finding that passion and perspective when he played in the minor leagues. If so, you should also ask when he had those accomplishments, because Tebow played three full seasons of minor league baseball. He would also have played a fourth had it not been for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the 2020 baseball campaign.

Who would have guessed that Jordan and Tebow, two of the most iconic athletes of their respective generations, would be linked together through bus rides and small baseball stadiums? Sports always tend to be funny that way.

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RELATED: Michael Jordan Won Over $ 93 Million In The NBA But Preferred A Specific Experience He Had While Playing Baseball


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